Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.11
Liaison Melissa Tier
Submission Date April 19, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Swarthmore College
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.83 / 4.00 Shá Smith
Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development
 Deans Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

1. Swarthmore has a Need Based Financial Assistance policy                       
2. Loan Free Financial Aid Awards see link for brief descriptions of "1" and 2"- http://www.swarthmore.edu/admissions-aid/paying-swarthmore                                                                                                           
3. Study Abroad: 
We have equitable study abroad policies. Off-campus study (domestic and international) programs cost the same for all students, so if you are from a low-income background, your study abroad options aren't limited to low-cost programs. In addition, Swarthmore provides additional funding for plane tickets, meals, and local transportation abroad.                                                              
4. Funded Internships: You do not need to choose a paid internship over nonprofit or community work. The College provides internship funding programs to help cover your expenses while you pursue unpaid work.                               
5. Numerous Other: the Emergency Fund for low income students for a variety of uses (books, medical expenses, emergency travel, travel for externships, etc). Travel Fund for family members to attend a college event (sports, performances, graduation, etc).  And funds to assist students with taking summer courses when the student is behind in credits. 


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

1. Swarthmore Summer Scholars Program (S3P): this program provides support to 16 incoming freshmen for a 5 week summer immersion into college. It is for those incoming freshmen who are the first in your family to attend college, come from a low-income background, or belong to a traditionally underrepresented group, and have a self-described interest in STEM fields. 
   
2. Richard Rubin Scholar Mentoring Program: Swarthmore offers the Richard Rubin Scholar Mentoring Program: This program has faculty and staff matched with scholars to provide them with mentoring and enrichment opportunities for first generation, low-income, and students of color.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

1. First in Family Program: If one's parents or guardians didn't go to college, they are encouraged to participate in Swarthmore's First in Family program, which gathers faculty, staff, and students to share stories, strategies, and fellowship. This inadvertently tends to help students of low-income backgrounds since statistically, first in family students tend to be from lower income families.                   

2. Swarthmore Summer Scholars Program (also applicable here): this program provides support to 16 incoming freshmen for a 5 week summer immersion into college. It is for those incoming freshmen who are the first in your family to attend college, come from a low-income background, or belong to a traditionally underrepresented group, and have a self-described interest in STEM fields. College covers all expenses related to the program (food/travel/housing/events).


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Swarthmore offers the Richard Rubin Scholar Mentoring Program (also applicable here): This program offers internship funding and enrichment opportunities for first generation, low-income, and students of color.


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

1. "Discover Swarthmore", held in the fall, is our all-expenses-paid overnight program for high-achieving high school seniors. Admissions pays for all transportation, meals, and on-campus housing expenses for students invited to attend one of these programs. All interested high school seniors are welcome to apply to Discover Swarthmore, though preference will be given to students from traditionally underrepresented groups, students who are the first in their family to attend college, and students from low-income backgrounds.                          
2. Swatlight: Each spring, the College hosts another all-expenses-paid trip to Swarthmore for admitted students who are the first in their family to attend college, come from a low-income background, or work with a community-based organization that offers free advice on college admissions or financial aid.                                                                                                                      
3. Recruiting partnerships: see link for a list of 8 partnerships that the college maintains with the intent of connecting with students we may not meet through more traditional college admissions venues- http://www.swarthmore.edu/admissions-aid/partnering-access. 
4. Questbridge: Swarthmore became a Questbridge partner in 2006 in order to identify and recruit more socioeconomically diverse prospective students. Questbridge links high-achieving, low-income students with outstanding colleges and universities.

http://www.swarthmore.edu/questbridge.xml


A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Cash-Free Campus
There are no “additional fees” at Swarthmore. Nearly everything is included in the annual activity fee, so things like movie nights, laundry, printing, and athletic events are free to all students.


Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

N/A


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

N/A


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

Technically the college has no official policies for non-traditional students, however, in practice, we support such students very much through other policies and practices. See descriptions of case by case programs below
a. Students who attend part-time: No official policy/program. 
b. Students with dependents other than a spouse or partner: See response to c.
c. Single parents: For b and c, Swarthmore rarely has such students and there is no official policy. However, Swarthmore does accommodate such students on a case by case bases and has, at least once in the past, assisted with finding housing and childcare and other support for a single mother student.
d. Students who work full-time while enrolled: very few students work full time at Swarthmore. No particular policies for such students.
e. Students who are financially independent from parents: Swarthmore has no specific policy for financially independent students, however, there are numerous scholarships/grants/other asst. for low income students, from which financially independent students can benefit.  
f. Students who did not receive a standard secondary school diploma but who earned some type of certificate of completion: No particular policy to assist.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
20

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
94

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
100

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
69

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Need Based Commitment (line 64) here: http://www.swarthmore.edu/financial-aid
Low income graduates (line 63) here: http://www.swarthmore.edu/sites/default/files/assets/documents/institutional-research/HEOAGradRates.pdf

Regarding the 20% response:
In 2016-2017, there were 415 new students, 243 (59%) of which received need based aid from the College. -According to the Swarthmore College Common Data Set 2016-'2017 document; table on page 20, rows c, d, and e.
In 2016, 84 of entering students (20%) received the Pell grant. I do not think that it is necessary to determine how many of the 59% who received need based aid overlap with the 20% who received Pell since question asks "or".

This 94% is the graduation rate for students who graduate within 6 years receive the Pell Grant (does not include students who are eligible for the Pell Grant but don't receive it, which, if stats were included, would still count into the calculation of this credit according to the STARS criteria for it). http://www.swarthmore.edu/sites/default/files/assets/documents/institutional-research/HEOAGradRates.pdf

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.